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Ambassadors To Champion Council’s Commitment To Becoming Greener (05/11/08)
Each Service of The Highland Council has elected Green Ambassadors in a move to raise awareness of important environmental issues, champion steps to cut down on energy usage and to promote the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message to all staff.
The Highland Council was one of the first of Scotland's 32 Local Authorities to sign Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration in 2007 and then reaffirmed its commitment to delivering greener and more efficient services in the Highlands by re-signing the Decleration in May 2008.
At the launch of the Green Ambassadors initiative the Council’s new slogan “Green Aware? Show you Care!” was unveiled and the newly appointed Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet up to learn more about schemes to cut the amount of carbon produced, such as sustainable transport options, and to take part in workshops on topics including how to calculate emissions from journeys and the use of video and tele-conferencing.
Councillors have given their backing to the campaign and during the launch Councillor Ian Ross presented Janice Gell from the Social Work Service with a prize for coming up with the slogan ”Green Aware? Show You Care!” Runner up prizes were also given to Colin Rose, Housing and Property Service for his slogan
“Energy Abuse. No Excuse” and to Catriona Strivens, Education, Culture and Sport for her slogan “Going greener keeps Highland cleaner”.
Councillor Ross said: “As a Council we recognise that we have an important role to play not only as an employer byt also as a service provider, a community leader and a signatory of the declaration. The Green Ambassador initiative is a way of ensuring our staff are made aware of all the ways they can help to reduce the amount of carbon emissions we produce through travel, energy and waste. Over 60 Green Ambassadors have volunteered to take part in the scheme and their role will be to promote “green” initiatives and raise awareness amongst their colleagues and in the wider community.
Behavioural change can account for as much as 20% in emissions savings. To further increase environmental performance the council is installing renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. In August the Council installed 64 photo-voltaic panels on the roof of the Headquarters building in Inverness to help cut down energy bills. A further 32 solar panel heating projects are proposed to be installed, mainly in schools before April next year.
A Member led Climate Change Working Group has been set up to deliver the commitments outlined in the Declaration and oversee the production and implementation of a climate change strategy for Highland.